March is Women's History Month, a great reminder to celebrate the accomplishments of women and to think about how we can do more to help all women unlock their full potential.
If you're a female leader yourself, know that your unique strengths have immense value. When you put them into play more fully, you create a powerful ripple effect. And no matter your gender, you also cause a ripple effect when you support women at work.
To make an even bigger difference for women, arm yourself with knowledge about current challenges and how you can make an impact. For example:
Women are still underrepresented in management, according to the Women in the Workplace 2018 study, conducted by McKinsey & Company in partnership with LeanIn.org. McKinsey recommends that companies take actions such as setting targets for gender diversity, holding leaders accountable for results, closing gender gaps in hiring and promotions and doing more to build more respectful and inclusive cultures. If these changes need to happen in your workplace, think about how you can be an advocate for them.
More and more research shows the economic benefits of gender diversity. For example, McKinsey "found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 15 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile." Consider reading up on these statistics so that you can share them when discussions about gender diversity happen at your workplace.
Learn about the phenomenon called silencing, which causes women to disengage at work, and learn to recognize its signs. If you feel that you have been silenced, one thing you can do to heal is seeking support and advice from other women who understand what you're going through.
Pew Research Center has found that working mothers still spend much more time on childcare and housework than working fathers do. As a leader in your workplace, what steps can you implement or suggest to help working moms thrive? That could mean doing things like promoting more flexibility in work schedules or not planning meetings during school pick-up and drop-off times.
Consider sharing these facts and figures with others to open discussions in your workplace. Since Newberry Executive Solutions specializes in working with women leaders, you may also want to take a look at our corporate programs, executive coaching and publications, whether for yourself or as part of a program for women in your workplace.